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Thread started 11/28/21 5:17pm

TrivialPursuit

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RIP: Stephen Sondheim

I can't believe no one's started a Sondheim thread.

stephen-sondheim-dies-91.jpg?w=824&quality=70

His music really did redefine the modern musical. He explored characters, he didn't write them. A lot of his musicals didn't necessarily have a plot, they had a story - a section of time in the character's life.

In 1991, I used to walk down to my local library, and check out LPs. I found one called How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying (not Sondheim) and Company (Sondheim). I was just fascinated by both for various reasons. (Also checked out Sweet Charity with Gwen Verdon.)

Company really stuck with me. Each song was different, yet they felt like a group. They told a story, even on record. You could so easily piece together what the whole play was about, just by those lyrics and songs.

Dare I say, he was a better than Webber at musicals. Maybe... just different. Webber uses a lot of the same melodic ideas in his songs throughout a play. Listen to EVITA, arguably one of the most popular musicals. There are about 2 or 3 melodies that are used throughout the whole 2+hour story. They're at different tempos or in different keys, with different arrangements, but it's the same melody.

I've never noticed Sondheim doing that. Maybe he did somewhere that I've not heard, but I don't know about it. And while I'm not pitting my fellow March Aries against each other, I will say their approach to a musical is entirely different. Webber uses a song to push a story, whereas Sondehim used it to explore a thought, or a mood, the secrets of a sidebar were exposed in those songs. Sure, they both used songs are diaglog or an interchange between characters. But the whole approach was just different overall.


Mr. Sondheim and I also share a birthday (as well as Andrew Lloyd Webber, William Shatner, and Reese Witherspoon - but not sure about Reese Withoutherspoon).

He leaves behind a legacy that is one of the most important, like Prince, Bowie, Michael Jackson, and George Michael did: that being a legacy of unforgettable and amazing music.


Sondheim-Collage_1.jpg

"eye don’t really care so much what people say about me because it is a reflection of who they r."
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Reply #1 posted 11/29/21 7:56am

mistertonymac

Fantastic post for a completely peerless human being.

RIP Sondheim

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Reply #2 posted 11/29/21 8:04am

Empress

TrivialPursuit said:

I can't believe no one's started a Sondheim thread.

stephen-sondheim-dies-91.jpg?w=824&quality=70

His music really did redefine the modern musical. He explored characters, he didn't write them. A lot of his musicals didn't necessarily have a plot, they had a story - a section of time in the character's life.

In 1991, I used to walk down to my local library, and check out LPs. I found one called How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying (not Sondheim) and Company (Sondheim). I was just fascinated by both for various reasons. (Also checked out Sweet Charity with Gwen Verdon.)

Company really stuck with me. Each song was different, yet they felt like a group. They told a story, even on record. You could so easily piece together what the whole play was about, just by those lyrics and songs.

Dare I say, he was a better than Webber at musicals. Maybe... just different. Webber uses a lot of the same melodic ideas in his songs throughout a play. Listen to EVITA, arguably one of the most popular musicals. There are about 2 or 3 melodies that are used throughout the whole 2+hour story. They're at different tempos or in different keys, with different arrangements, but it's the same melody.

I've never noticed Sondheim doing that. Maybe he did somewhere that I've not heard, but I don't know about it. And while I'm not pitting my fellow March Aries against each other, I will say their approach to a musical is entirely different. Webber uses a song to push a story, whereas Sondehim used it to explore a thought, or a mood, the secrets of a sidebar were exposed in those songs. Sure, they both used songs are diaglog or an interchange between characters. But the whole approach was just different overall.


Mr. Sondheim and I also share a birthday (as well as Andrew Lloyd Webber, William Shatner, and Reese Witherspoon - but not sure about Reese Withoutherspoon).

He leaves behind a legacy that is one of the most important, like Prince, Bowie, Michael Jackson, and George Michael did: that being a legacy of unforgettable and amazing music.


Sondheim-Collage_1.jpg

Terrific Post. The man was a genius! RIP

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Reply #3 posted 11/29/21 9:53am

PJMcGee

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Trivial: I assume you're gonna see Tick Tick Boom, or have already seen it. An actor plays him from 30 years ago (in a small role), and his actual voice is heard in the film at one point.

I saw that a couple weeks ago, and just yesterday saw the new West Side Story. It's been a Sondheim couple of weeks.
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Reply #4 posted 11/29/21 2:18pm

TrivialPursuit

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PJMcGee said:

Trivial: I assume you're gonna see Tick Tick Boom, or have already seen it. An actor plays him from 30 years ago (in a small role), and his actual voice is heard in the film at one point. I saw that a couple weeks ago, and just yesterday saw the new West Side Story. It's been a Sondheim couple of weeks.


We just watched it a few days ago! Bradley Whitfield played him and did great. I hadn't been aware of Larson's relationship w/ Sondheim. I didn't know it was his actual voice until someone tweeted about it. I thought that was such a great period on things.

I can't wait for the new WSS.

"eye don’t really care so much what people say about me because it is a reflection of who they r."
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Reply #5 posted 11/29/21 5:00pm

PJMcGee

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I don't want to say much about WSS until it comes out. Parts of it were great. A good deal of untranslated Spanish grated a bit, but it felt like they were treating the language with respect, as if to say it's not lesser than English, so we'll treat it equally.
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Reply #6 posted 11/29/21 5:08pm

PJMcGee

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Note: You get a lot of information from the context and the emotion, and it's not like there are soliloquies in Spanish, mostly phrases and sentences here and there.
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